Monday, May 15, 2017

A Cow's Square Meal

While driving through the country with my wife, we kept passing these cylindrical hay bales on the side of the road. There were hundreds of them.

My wife casually turned to me and said, "Did you know that it's soon going to be illegal for farmers to make these round hay bales?"

I said, "No, why?"

She responded, "Because, the cows aren't getting a square meal..."

It was dumb, but we laughed. This spurred further pastoral puns and farm jokes, which was how we pleasantly passed the next half hour.

On a serious note, the truth behind the round vs. square hay bale battle is that the equipment required to make round hay bales is typically cheaper than the equipment needed to make square hay bales. Furthermore, when it comes to baling hay on comparable acreage, round hay bale producers need only about 2/3 the manpower as compared to square hay bale producers.

While square hay bales require more time for drying between cutting and baling, there are still some advantages to producing square hay bales. Square hay bales stack easily and tend not to spoil as much as round hay bales.

If hay bale producers are selling their product to large cattle farms, round hay bays are the economic way to go. However, if hay bale producers are selling their product to small feed farms, it would be more economical to produce square hay bales. When it comes to producing hay bales, it all depends on the desired fate of the product.

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